Council meeting wrap-up – Tackling ageism and Ballarat Libraries going fine free for overdue items

A woman in a teal cardigan arranges books on a bookshelf in the Ballarat Town Hall Library.

Tackling ageism in Ballarat 
The City of Ballarat has cemented its commitment to tackling ageism by supporting EveryAGE Counts — a national coalition of organisations and a grassroots campaign of individuals dedicated to highlighting the impacts of ageism experienced by older people and building an Australia that no longer tolerates it.  
At a council meeting last night, City of Ballarat councillors voted to become an EveryAGE Counts Coalition member and to build awareness of and promote efforts to end ageism in Ballarat.  
Ageism is stereotyping (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) towards people based on their age. While it can impact people of all ages, it has particularly negative effects on the health and wellbeing of older people. It can affect people’s job prospects, confidence, quality of life and control of life decisions.  
City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said tackling ageism in Ballarat is a Council priority.  
“By joining the EveryAGE Counts Coalition, we are affirming our commitment to ending ageism in our community,” he said.  
“We want to create a society in which every person is valued and respected, regardless of their age.”  
Supporting the EveryAGE Counts campaign aligns with the City of Ballarat’s Ageing Well in Ballarat Strategy 2022-2026 and Action Plan 2022-2024, as well as the Community Vision 2021-2031 and the Inclusion Framework 2022-2026. 
For more information about the EveryAGE Counts campaign, visit the website.  

Ballarat Libraries to go fine free for overdue items 
From July 1, City of Ballarat libraries will no longer charge library fines for overdue items and will waive existing fines relating to overdue items.   
It follows a growing trend across Victoria in which public libraries are opting to remove library fines relating to overdue items due to the financial impact on people who often have need of library services and who can often least afford to pay.   
City of Ballarat councillors endorsed the council officer’s recommendation to remove library fines relating to overdue items at a council meeting last night.  

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said the decision reflected a common-sense approach to promoting usage of the library across the community.  
“Recent library engagement sessions have highlighted the impact of library fines on families and children, with some people too scared to visit the library if they have previously accrued a fee relating to an overdue item,” he said.  
“Some families stop visiting the library altogether, which prevents children from accessing vital literacy resources and study and school project material.”